Remembering the U-2’s long history


Call me nerdy, but all this budget news about the U-2 is making me think about the plane’s storied past – specifically the 1960 incident in which an American pilot operating a CIA U-2 was shot down while conducting a recon mission over the Soviet Union. The incident strained an already tense relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, happening just two weeks before a planned East-West summit in Paris.

Powers was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison during what is largely considered in the West to be a show trial. However, he ended up serving a little under two years before being exchanged for a Russian intelligence officer named Rudolf Abel.

Above is an old-school clip of a news report on Powers’ trial (about half of the clip is about Powers – the other half is about Air Force Col. Joseph Kittinger, which is a cool story in itself).  You can also read more about Powers’ case here and about the U-2 here.


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